Local issues sure create strange bedfellows. Who would have guessed that Gordy Petersen and Ron Zee would agree on a major local issue?
I understand and share their frustration with how the current County Council is functioning. However, the answer is not throwing out the basic reason those of us who started the charter movement to begin with had for going in this direction.
We need to separate the county administration from the legislative arm of our county. The legislative branch does hire the administrator, and then leave him or her alone to do the job. If the job is not being done correctly, the council has to fire the administrator.
I worked with counties in eight different states before I came to Washington, and 100 percent of them had governing structures that functioned much better than the Washington counties that followed the structure set out in Washington’s RCWs.
I personally believe the current county council has ignored that separation in many instances and proceeded to administrate when that was not their job. If the county has a strong county administrator who does the job, the council should not have to meet more than two days per week, plus the occasional special hearing that may be necessary.
It is up to us (the voters) to elect members of the council who will follow that intent.
Countywide voting for three commissioners representing three different districts will not create fair representation. I would have no problem putting up an initiative (which is allowed by the charter) to consider either three or five commissioners from equally calculated districts.
I would love to see some of the county offices change and be hired based on appropriate qualifications to do the job instead of being elected. I am used to there being only one county financial officer (i.e. combining the auditor and the treasurer’s office).
Please vote no on the proposed charter changes and then participate in assisting in putting together well thought out initiatives to make the needed changes over the next few years.
Cathaleen T. Cavanagh/San Juan Island